Education Through Illustration for Alberta Pork

Curio Studio | Case Study

There are over 125,000 sows in Alberta. If your first thought was That sounds like a lot, RIGHT YOU ARE.

IF, however, your first thought was What the heck is a sow?, then you’re in the same boat as we were when Alberta Pork Producers approached Curio to re-imagine its Pig Science Centre.

Alberta Pork has worked for 50 years to ensure the province’s pork producers provide the highest attention to the health and care of their pigs and to the sustainability of the environment. The illustrative and interactive Pig Science Centre opened in 2003 to teach young students about every aspect of pork production. After 15 years of hoof-traffic, though, it was time for an upgrade.

“The client came to Curio looking for a full-scale reinvention of their current aesthetic, including logo, colour palettes, typographic treatments, illustration style, information design, environmental design and interactive design,” says Amanda. “We were mostly in love with the idea of drawing pigs all day.”

So, we set about answering the timeless question: How do you talk to kids about pigs? We immediately began extensive consulting with the experts at Alberta Pork, while at the same time cracking the books to learn all we could about pig breeds, farm life, pig history, biosecurity, pork production, careers, breeding, and pork consumption.

Curio presented early concepts and sketches to the board of Alberta Pork several weeks after the initial consultation, and production went into full-trot the next day. Gradually, the room took shape, featuring: a pig-anatomy  “Operation” game, a motion-detected floor projection on pig health, an elaborate retro-style deli space, and a digital career quiz.

Once the dust cleared, Curio had developed over 100 illustrations on 28 walls for the space. Says Amanda: “We’re really pleased with the effort, but a great deal of credit is due to the vision and cooperation of Alberta Pork. Now both our companies have a gorgeous showcase for the awesome twin forces of teamwork and pork… or teampork, if brevity is your thing.”

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